5 Tech Companies Trying to Create Tomorrow’s World

These are just a few of the technologies that are revolutionizing international business and global finance.

Gone are the days of arms-length transactions, hand-shake deals and the single savvy investor making deals over the phone.

We live in a world of algorithms and light-speed calculations, where each new tech offers the chance of disrupting the status quo while delivering big returns for anyone smart enough to get in on the ground floor.

From self-driving cars to programmable televisions, voice assistant software like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa that run households and aid in every-day life, and blockchain and crypto-currency tech that can accomplish weeks-long financial transactions in a fraction of a second, new technologies are poised to dramatically alter how citizens, businesses, families and organizations interact with one another.

Here are a few companies that are paving the way of this technology revolution.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA)

The biggest name in electric cars and the brainchild of billionaire visionary Elon Musk, Tesla’s long-term stock performance is jaw-dropping and its products are sought after in almost every developed market. Over the last seven years the company’s stock price has increased 1200 percent.

For the last few years, Tesla’s designer EVs have been prohibitively expensive for many consumers, but earlier this year it rolled out its Tesla Model 3, the car that aims to be both affordable and cutting edge. Musk has claimed that if the company sells five thousand Model 3’s per week, it can realize a 25 percent gross profit margin.

The company is now developing its self-driving technology, which Musk says will be available next year or the year after. In October 2016 Tesla’s vehicle were offered with Autopilot 2.0 installed, which will provide the basis for fully autonomous driving in the future.

There may be speed bumps ahead, however. Some investors are worried that Tesla is over-valued, that in 2018 the company’s grand ambitions may run into the wall of reality, and that Musk’s ability to burn through capital at a tremendous rate will finally reveal a company with big dreams but weak ambitions. There has even been some talk of shorting the company, though this is probably premature.

Worries aside, Tesla remains one of the biggest names in the new auto market, and given the tremendous excitement and rapid expansion of electric vehicles, not to mention the forthcoming revolution in autonomous vehicles, Musk’s company looks set to profit handsomely.

Global Blockchain Technologies (TSXV: BLOC; OTC: BLKCF)

After a few years in the shadows, crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are now firmly part of the international financial landscape. Blockchain technology, which utilizes crypto-currencies, has benefitted from an enormous surge in investment, with some $4.5 billion from venture capital firms this year alone.

It’s also a field that is enjoying rapid expansion, with some 1500 blockchain-related mentions in SEC filings for 2017, up 65 percent from last year according to Forbes.

One company that is looking to invest and diversify in this new technology is Global Blockchain Technologies. The company’s business plan offers what investors looking to invest in blockchain and crypto-currencies have been waiting for: a planned new, “basket of crypto currencies that’s traded on the TSX Venture Exchange, backed by the company’s impressive management team that boasts extensive expertise within the crypto-currency space.

While Wall Street hesitates, unsure whether governments will shut down Bitcoin and its fellow cryptocurrencies, GBT is charging ahead and hopes to become the first major investment company that specializes in blockchain and crypto-currency assets.

What GBT plans to do is offer exposure to this new asset for investors looking to participate in the expansion of crypto-currencies like Ethereum. In an area as shadowy and tinged with uncertainty as crypto-currency, GBT is hoping to offer investors a stable, reliable and profitable entre.

And the values that the company’s planned basket of holdings can tap into are immense. Bitcoin alone has a $70 billion market cap, Ethereum has $30 billion, and some smaller currencies account for several billion each.

Apart from its specialty in crypto-currencies, GBT is planning to be on the cutting edge of blockchain, a technology that will revolutionize nearly every form of transaction. Blockchain technology has the potential to cut out middle-men and save time on laborious contracts and security protocols, blockchain is fintech taken to the next level. It’s increasingly being adopted in industries worldwide. In Dubai, for instance, real estate has been linked to a blockchain land registry. Shipping and trading, an $8 trillion industry, has begun utilizing blockchain on a large scale.

With its expertise and its innovative approach, GBT could see tremendous benefits from the expansion of both blockchain tech and crypto-currencies. Investors looking to get in on these exciting new opportunities would do well to familiarize themselves with GBT.

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD)

A semiconductor supplier with a solid track record, AMD enjoyed a 700 percent return in 2016 and has seen its share price consolidate in 2017. Despite some slowing momentum, this company shows few signs of stopping its impressive run into 2018 and beyond.

Semiconductor growth had stalled after 2010 as PC sales slumped worldwide. But a return of demand, and intense competition between AMD, Intel and other major semiconductor suppliers, brought the market back and saw AMD’s share price jump from $1.5 to $13.5 in less than ten years, though it’s still below its pre-2008 heights.

AMD has been able to differentiate itself from competitors like NVIDIA and Intel by offering products at a slight discount and focusing on competitive pricing while delivering equal value. Thus, while its semiconductors are sometimes under-powered when compared to higher-priced competitors, it’s been able to carve out a niche in the discount PC and laptop markets, which are likely to grow faster than higher-end PCs, for which demand slowed after 2010.

AMD has also gotten in on the crypto-currency game, with Ethereum mining Graphics Processing Units (GPUS) among its strongest sellers. Two of its products, the Radeon Vega 56 and Vega 64, are the top-rated GPUS for mining the crypto-currency currently available.

With its lower price and strong recent growth, AMD is a good buy for investors looking to get into this market without having to buy into its heavier competitors.

PayPal (NYSE:PYPL)

The leading innovator in on-line banking and electronic transactions, PayPal acquired a new product in 2014: Venmo, an electronic repayment software, which found massive appeal for people looking for an easy way to split bar-tabs, pay back friends and move money easily back and forward between accounts.

An acquisition that came with PayPal’s $800 million purchase of Braintree in 2014, Venmo is a major part of PayPal’s new portfolio.

The company has some 184 million active users and 14.5 million merchants. In 2015 it generated $9.2 billion in revenue and its stock has been soaring for years. The price has ticked up 70 percent in 2017, leaving its old parent Ebay in the dust and indicating that the company, which used to be a limited platform for online transactions, has moved into the next phase of its lifespan.

On Wall Street, expectations are high that PayPal will continue to deliver. With plans to expand Venmo to cover more merchants, allowing it to be more easily utilized for consumer-merchant transactions, PayPal hopes to get ahead of competition in e-transactions, which could make wallets and credit cards a thing of the past.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)

One of the biggest bankers in the U.S. is embracing the revolution in artificial intelligence. Along with ‘big data,’ AI will completely change the way markets are monitored, assets are managed and trades performed.

In 2016, BOA launched “ERICA,” a chat-bot that assists customers with managing their finances, reviewing their portfolios and giving them up-to-date info on all their assets. ERICA was more than just an assistant, however, and uses predictive analytics and cognitive messaging to advise customers and how best they can make payments, pay down debts and monitor their changing account balances.

Over the last year, BOA has worked to take ERICA and other AI tech to the next level. Calling it a “multi-generational” plan to develop a fully intelligent chatbot, BOA believes ERICA is their entrée into the “world of Siri and Alexa,” two AI techs debuted by Apple and Amazon, respectively, that are already used widely in home entertainment.

Embracing this new tech should set BOA above and beyond its competition, though Citigroup and other major bankers have shown little hesitation in getting into new tech themselves. The race is on to see which financial firm gets the most out of artificial intelligence, and which will be left in the dust.

Honorable Mentions:

The Descartes Systems Group Inc. (TSX: DSG) (commonly referred to as Descartes) is a Canadian multinational technology company specializing in logistics software, supply chain management software, and cloud-based services for logistics businesses. The company is making waves in the tech industry with its futuristic products and visionary leadership.

As a key stock in Canada’s tech boom, Descartes Systems is a smart choice for investors. The company has a huge market cap of $2.6-billion and the stock has grown by nearly 20% YTD.

Kuuhubb Inc. (TSXV: KUU) is a company active in the development and acquisition of lifestyle and mobile video game applications. Its strategy is to create sustainable shareholder value through undervalued, but proven applications with robust long-term growth potential.

The company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland and operates in both U.S. and Asian markets. The company has seen its stock increase after a few recent acquisitions and currently trades at $1.60.

Mogo Finance Technology Inc. (TSX:MOGO): This is a new spin on unsecured credit, which is a burgeoning sub-segment of FinTech. Providing loan management, the ability to track spending, stress-free mortgages, and even credit score tracking, Mogo is at the forefront of an online movement to assist users with their financial needs. Mogo’s software analyzes borrowers instantly and greatly reduces the traditionally cumbersome underwriting process for loans. It’s online only, so there’s very low overhead and a ton of cash to spend on marketing. Labeled as “the Uber of finance” by CNBC, Mogo is definitely turning heads.

With increasing membership growth and revenue lines continuing to improve, and a platform which many banks have failed to offer, Mogo could well become an acquisition target in the near future.

EXFO Inc (TSX:EXF): EXFO isn’t new to the Canadian tech sector. The company was founded in 1985 in Quebec City, and its original products were portable testing products for optical networks. Since then, the company has acquired and build 3G, LTE, protocol, copper/xDSL, IMS, and VoIP test and service assurance products. Recent developments from EXFO are promising for long term growth potential. The new baseband unit emulation technology which is sure to be adopted on a large scale, as the tech offers operators a reduction of costs and a faster revenue stream.

EXFO Inc is a model in the telecommunications industry. With a market cap of $273-million, EXFO is strong, but still growing.

Power Financial Corp (TSX:PWF): Montreal-based Power Financial Corp has been in the finance industry since 1984. The company operates in three segments: Lifeco, IGM and Pargesa Holding SA (Pargesa). And, with its holdings in a diversified portfolio spanning the United States and Europe, Power Financial is a leader in its field. Focusing its investments in the emerging FinTech industry, Power Financial stands to benefit by riding this wave into the future. The company’s forward-thinking attitude and liberal approach to technology is sure to leave investors satisfied.

We like PWF because it owns 60 percent of Wealthsimple, a leading robo-advisor for investing in ETF portfolios.

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